June 26, 2019 / 2:58 PM

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Bonnaroo, Nashville Talk Country Music Event in Manchester, TN



The owners of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival are looking into the possibility of bringing a country music event to the farm in Manchester, TN, and the tourism industry in nearby Nashville is certainly interested.

"The Bonnaroo folks even before Live Nation have talked about that for some time," said Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation. "Since they own the land, they'd like to hold more than one event per year."

The city published reports last year that indicated it brought in $60.4 million yearly from the CMA Music Fest downtown, while Bonnaroo adds another $51 million, which is more impressive if you consider the hour-plus drive. The city foresees the possibility for even more profit from a country music festival held at the Bonnaroo farm, as Nashville is largely considered the capitol of country music and may attract more visitors for side trips.

It would also behoove the operators of Bonnaroo to open another event. As Spryidon mentioned above, they own the property anyway so they might as well get as much out of it as possible. Perhaps more importantly to Live Nation—the major promoter who bought a controlling stake in the festival earlier this year—adding to the property would serve as a returning shot against primary competition AEG Live. The latter company operates Coachella, one of Bonnaroo's biggest competitors for the title of America's biggest festival. AEG also operates the Stagecoach Festival on the same location as its flagship event.

It won't be nearly as simple to run a new country event out of Manchester however. Stagecoach has free rein in the Los Angeles area, however the theoretical Tennessee festival would need to find a weekend that doesn't conflict with Bonnaroo (easy) while also providing a cushion for the CMA Music Fest (tough). Schedule the two events too close together and both will find their potential audiences watered down.

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